December’s 41st Kennedy Center Honors, which spans the entire performing arts spectrum, saw Hollywood icon Cher being presented with the prestigious award in front of all of her celebrity fans. The annual event, which is held in Washington, D.C. brought actress Whoopi Goldburg out of hiding to pay tribute to the singer, and there was even a lineup of musical talent to salute the diva with amazing covers of her own hit songs.
Just when Cher didn’t think her evening could get any better, fellow pop star Cyndi Lauper made a surprise appearance on stage. As soon as she realized what was going on, Cher jumped to her feet and pointed an accusing finger at the other singer! Cher believed that her friend was going to be in Los Angeles, but right before Cyndi started belting out the classic hit, “If I Could Turn Back Time,” she gave a shout out to the Goddess of Pop with a big fat “I lied!”
Since the Kennedy Honors recognizes anyone in the performing arts who makes a lifetime contribution to American culture, it was pure serendipity that the 41st star-studded gala only included folks from the world of music. Besides Cher, country music legend Reba McEntire, genre-bending composer Phillip Glass, jazz visionary Wayne Shorter, and the team behind Broadway’s hit musical, Hamilton, were all there to have their moment in the spotlight.
But, someone who wasn’t supposed to be there in the spotlight that night was pop sensation Cyndi Lauper. She wasn’t on the telecast’s “official” lineup, or at least not as far as Cher was concerned. But, that’s because Cyndi’s surprise appearance was secretly orchestrated so she could pull off a fabulous ruse!
Cyndi, who is known for her eccentric fashion sense, seemed to tone it down for the night, at least by her colorful 1980’s standards. The platinum blonde wig she wore probably made Cher, who has sported many such hairpieces in her day, very proud! The skintight leather jacket and short leggings that clung to Cyndi’s slim frame also payed homage to a younger version of Cher, which makes it even more appropriate that the song for the night was, “If I Could Turn Back Time.”
After Cyndi fessed up to the lie about being in another city, she blew Cher a cheeky air kiss, ran over to the drummer and got straight down to business. After stomping her feet and shouting, “1…2…3…4,” it was finally game on! Cher couldn’t help but clap her hands together when she heard Cyndi belt out a powerful high-energy cover of her 1989 hit song.
Cher’s original music video famously saw the then 43-year-old dark-haired goddess wearing nothing but fishnet stockings, a barely there thong, and a leather jacket that hardly covered her rear. As she wiggled her way through a crowd of young sailors, she personified everything about a middle-aged woman wanting to turn back the clock. But in Cher’s case, she still had the body of a 20-year-old and didn’t have much to worry about!
Well, things haven’t changed much since, and Cher is just as stunning as ever. But, there’s also something else that’s still the same after all these years. Judging by the crowd’s cheers throughout her entire performance, Cyndi Lauper doesn’t need to turn back time in order to be a smashing success! Her voice is just as much of a timeless classic as the Kennedy Center Honoree.
Cyndi Lauper still knows how to get a crowd cheering on their feet.